WELCOME TO LAO GROUP
We change people’s relationship with food.
We focus on:
The Lao Group leads by example, by always doing what is right and holding ourselves accountable for our behavior and performance. We treat others as we would want to be treated through respect, empathy, and patience.
Lao Group cultivates a lost connection between people, food producers, and the land.
We deliver value to our customers, suppliers, employees, and community by:
Creating a Hawaii Leadership Network that unites leaders in making a big impact together.
Collaborating with our community businesses and leaders to offer education in cooking, nutrition and food sustainability.
Maintaining an inclusive and collaborative work culture for the local culinary/hospitality industry.
Striving to reduce food waste with meticulous planning and efficient kitchen processes.
Always delivering thoughtful, professional and memorable food services.
about bonita lao
I am a first generation Chinese American, born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai’i. As a young girl, I fell in love with food in my family’s restaurant, Don’s Chinese Kitchen in Waimea, and it led me to my career as a Chef. I graduated from California Culinary Academy and worked alongside some of the most talented chefs around the globe.
My career has had three distinct stages:
- Culinary school a working globally with acclaimed chefs
- Opening and running my Private Chef business on the island of Hawai’i
- Developing a multifaceted business of restaurants, event catering, and community ventures
After several years of education and travel from San Francisco to Sydney and beyond, I moved back home to start a private chef business. In 2016 I opened my brick and mortar, Laulima Food Patch. Our business has since expanded to event catering and community ventures. Navigating business ownership and how to build a successful team have given me great opportunities for personal discovery and growth. My journey through the culinary world revealed the importance of connection between living beings and our precious resources. Our dinner plates are a reflection of our environment, our community, and the hard work of many hands.
Today, I steer our fleet of small businesses as the Chef/Owner of Lao Group. I always keep our mission front of mind for all decisions at Laulima Food Patch, Queen’s Table Catering, and our Community Ventures. These three avenues allow me to share principles of mindful food consumption and grow our community’s relationship with food.